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The Chicago Cubs baseball team has the longest championship drought in North American professional sports history. The Cubs won their last World Series in 1908, and they famously ended their 108-year championship drought by winning the World Series in 2016.
Mercer County, located in western Illinois, has a rich and diverse history that stretches back thousands of years. The earliest known inhabitants of the area were the Native American tribes, including the Sauk, Fox, and Potawatomi. These tribes established villages along the banks of the Mississippi River and relied on hunting, fishing, and agricultural practices to sustain their communities.

In the late 17th century, French explorers and traders arrived in the region, establishing fur trading posts and interacting with the native populations. The area became part of the vast Illinois Country, which was under French control until it was ceded to the British following the French and Indian War in 1763. With the American Revolution, the territory came under American control and eventually became part of the newly formed state of Illinois in 1818.

The county itself was established on January 13, 1825, and named after Hugh Mercer, a Scottish-American revolutionary war hero. The early settlers of Mercer County were primarily of European descent, with significant numbers coming from states such as Kentucky, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. They established towns and farms, and the region quickly became known for its fertile farmland and agricultural pursuits.

During the mid-19th century, the construction of railroads played a significant role in the growth and development of Mercer County. Rail lines facilitated the transportation of goods and opened up markets for agricultural products, leading to increased economic activity and population growth. The county also saw the establishment of various industries, such as grain milling, lumber, and mining.

Over the years, Mercer County has continued to evolve and adapt to changing times. Today, it remains an area of agricultural significance, with farms producing crops such as corn, soybeans, and livestock. The county is also home to diverse communities and offers a range of recreational opportunities, including boating, fishing, and hiking in its natural areas and parks.

This timeline provides a glimpse into the major events and milestones that have shaped the history of Mercer County, Illinois.

  • 1825: Mercer County is established
  • 1831: First settlers arrive in the county
  • 1833: The county seat is established in New Boston
  • 1837: A new county seat, Aledo, is designated
  • 1850: Mercer County population reaches over 10,000
  • 1861-1865: County residents serve in the American Civil War
  • 1867: Mercer County Courthouse is built in Aledo
  • 1877: The Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad reaches Mercer County
  • 1904: First automobile arrives in the county
  • 1929-1939: Great Depression affects the county's economy
  • 1950s: Mercer County experiences a decline in population due to agricultural mechanization
  • 1968: Mercer County Historical Society is founded
  • 1998: Mercer County celebrates its 175th anniversary